Letters to the editor: March 25, 2022

Apathy reigns

Recall elections in Oregon are a rarity, yet Yamhill County has had two separate recall elections only months apart. Each election resulted from successful petition drives.

The school board recall election in Newberg failed. This was due in part to an essentially liberal campaign in a predominantly conservative population, in part to the brilliant adoption of a campaign slogan — “Education, not Indoctrination” — that strongly appealed to moderate and conservative voters.

The Yamhill County commissioner recall has apparently also failed — for several reasons, in my opinion.

First, the critical procedural mistake on the initial petition reduced energy and enthusiasm among citizens and volunteers.

Second, a key issue was property rights, which has greater appeal to rural residents than city dwellers. And recall proponents failed to counter this issue.

Third, proponents failed to clearly present convincing proof of wrongdoing. There was a great deal of highly suspicious smoke, but no actual gun to rally significant outrage. Circumstantial evidence does not play well in the court of public opinion.

Finally, proponents erred grievously by making the recall of a non-partisan elected position a Democratic Party affair. This resulted in block voting by Republican conservatives, who outnumber Democrats in the county.

Both recall efforts were also hampered because the majority of registered voters did not care enough to even submit a ballot. As a result, the election outcomes were determined by a majority of the minority who did care.

Regardless of the various merits and flaws of the two recall campaigns, in the final analysis, non-voters made the loudest statement. Apathy was the clear winner.

Ken Dollinger



Thanks for effort

I am writing to thank the many people who got involved in the effort to recall Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer.

In my 41 years of business experience, I rarely had a team come together so fluidly and effectively, each person bringing their skills to the effort to collect signatures to put the recall on the ballot for voters, to recruit donations to fund the campaign, and then to educate Yamhill County voters on the issues. It was truly an awesome experience to be a part of this team — one that I will forever cherish.

Local elections matter. They deserve our attention in order to vote for the best representation, people who demonstrate the competence and character required for the job.

I thank the News-Register for the coverage it provided and opportunity it gave voters to express their opinions on both sides of this recall.

Yamhill County voters will not have very much time to recover after this election before they begin to focus on the primaries in May. That means that Brian Van Bergen, our hardworking and extremely professional county clerk, won’t have much time to get ready for another round of ballots.

Democracies require constant vigilance and good people to count the ballots.

As we’ve waited in anticipation of this recall election result, I’ve been reflecting on the fact that people in a different part of the world are fighting to defend their nascent democracy against an external invader. We are fortunate not to have to do that here, but we cannot rest either.

We must always be vigilant to defend the democracy we inherited from previous generations and pass it on in good condition to those who follow.

Phil Forve




Well, despite all your fake news, ignorant editorials and leftist propaganda — i.e., “Letters to the Editor” — it seems as though Lindsay Berschauer has been vindicated.

Dale Lux



What does it take?

How much easier does voting need to be before folks can be bothered? A gold-embossed invitation?

People have literally died in this country for the right to vote. Yet the majority in Yamhill County can’t be bothered.

Your ballot comes right to you. You don’t even have to venture out into the big scary world and stand in line like so many of our countrymen and women, and yet, you still can’t be bothered.

Fanatics on both sides are forever busy with their agendas, but most of those in the middle can’t be bothered to exercise their voices. When they throw up their hands and stop voting, the fanatics win.

Stand by, because things are likely to get very emboldened and radical. But you couldn’t be bothered.

Lisa McCracken



Lost neighbors

Yamhill County passed 200 official COVID deaths this month. 

Our Health & Human Services Department did not mark the occasion. The News-Register quietly updated its COVID-19 page with no further analysis. Our Board of Commissioners stayed silent.

No less than 78% of those who died were 65 or over. Some 46, nearly a quarter, died in September and October of 2021, during the Delta wave.

The youngest of our neighbors to die was a 26-year-old woman. The oldest was 99.

And these are just the known COVID deaths. Another way to measure the impact of COVID is through “excess deaths” — the total number of deaths per month in our county, compared to an average number for the the same month over a five-year pre-COVID period.

The Oregon Health Authority’s excess death report tells an even sadder tale. We suffered an 80% increase in mortality in September 2021, compared to the September average for 2015-2019. The death toll for the month was up 68, likely due to COVID infections or due to COVID-related issues hampering access to health care services.

Since the widespread availability of vaccines, 80% of people dying of COVID in Oregon have been unvaccinated. Of the remaining 20%, half have been over the age of 80.

COVID has ripped our county and country even further apart over the last two years. It has also ripped apart many families in our community.

Just one example: A 35-year-old McMinnville man has been hospitalized since January, his young daughter left waiting for him to recover.

Enjoy spring break, but please pause to remember the neighbors we have lost in the last two years.

And maybe, if you can, take a few minutes to get vaccinated this week. Think of it as a gift to your family.

Megan Corvus



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